Located in downtown Indianapolis's White River State Park in a building crafted from Indiana materials, the Indiana State Museum houses more than 540,000 cultural and natural-history items—collected since the museum’s founding in the early 1800s—as well as hands-on exhibitions to highlight the Hoosier State’s most fascinating stories. The Odd Indiana exhibit showcases an assortment of oddities tied to local history, from a homemade booby-trap gun to a hair ball from the stomach of a cow. In the Indiana Realities: Regionalist Painting 1930–1945 gallery, guests view 37 original paintings composed by local artists. The museum’s crowd-pleasing permanent exhibitions include the oft-explored Native Americans display, featuring a wigwam and ancient tools, and the American Originals exhibit, which pays tribute to famous Hoosiers, such as Kurt Vonnegut, Tony Stewart, David Letterman, and virtually every king of France.
Despite an inherent awareness of its artifice, live theater's in-room presence creates an immersive experience that can feel more real than the most subtly acted film or actually happening work day. None of the Above introduces audiences to Jamie, a 17-year-old private-school student living the high life in New York City. When she answers the door expecting her drug dealer, it turns out to be Clark, her SAT tutor. The play follows the clash of their personalities, a meeting like unto Gore Vidal confronting Kelly Bundy. As the story progresses, Jamie and Clark negotiate an unusual pact over their contradictory worlds of multiple choices and socialite flight. You get one general-admission ticket to witness the Protean intellectual battle, though you can purchase up to four and make an outing for friends and family.
Tibbs Drive-In Theater blissfully blends the nostalgic with the neoteric, projecting current blockbusters across four motor-moseying screens. Movie whizzes can comfortably plop lawn La-Z-Boys in front of vehicles to enjoy back-to-back features as the soundtrack streams through their FM car radio, stereo, or a boom-box-equipped John Cusack. Whether laughing through a lighthearted wartime drama or crying through The Land Before Time XXVI: Still No Time, flick catchers can chow through their emotions with a bite from the theater's snack bar, which boasts a scrumptious view-enhancing selection that includes sandwiches, pizza, fresh-baked pretzels, and caramel-apple chips alongside the traditional candy and popcorn.
Glowing neon against the horizon, Greenbriar Cinema Grill is a hybrid house that combines a movie theater and restaurant in one experience. From the outside, the destination looks like a retro diner—inside, patrons can sink into cushy maroon chairs at tables set up throughout the theater for family bonding and comfy noshing. Greenbriar Cinema Grill offers family-friendly picks that parents can enjoy, with recent options including The Other Guys, a blank screen between showtimes, and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. As you and a guest marvel at the audio-visual spectacle displayed in front of you during your choice of a matinee or evening show, you can relax with a classic tub of corn kernels that have been heated into fluffy nubs with a bucket of Monsters Popcorn ($3.99), freshly popped with your choice of no butter, butter, or hold-the-popcorn butter. Though food is not included with today's Groupon, pull up a menu and take advantage of the latter half of Greenbriar's namesake with a 12-inch pizza ($9.99–$14.50), sandwiches ($6.99–$10.50), or a giant root beer float ($4.50).
As an independently run cinema, Movie Buff Theatre enjoys a freedom that helps keep prices low and schedules flexible, letting them opt out of screening PSAs on recommended candy-bar consumption levels. Fourteen screens flicker with first-run films, indie hits, and family favorites. They also regularly host midnight showings of recent box-office hits. For the younger set, the theater offers free children's films on Wednesdays in the summer. At the concession stand, moviegoers enjoy bottomless popcorn and sodas.
The Wet Your Pants Comedy Film Festival strives to induce every reaction from a giggle to a guffaw during its one-day film spree. The festival screens comedic films from across the globe, as well as some that feature cast or crew members from Indiana. Each year, approximately 30 full-length films, shorts, and life-size flipbooks dance across the eager retinas of the audience.
The inspiration for the festival, Steve Pearce, was a National Kidney Foundation of Indiana supporter and film lover who passed away from kidney disease in 2009. His family carries on his mission to raise awareness for the disease by appropriating the funds from the festival to NKFI. The NKFI aims to prevent kidney and urinary-tract diseases, improve the well-being of people affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of transplant-ready organs. Together, the film festival and NKFI plan to alleviate these needs, one kidney at a time.
The Indianapolis International Film Festival projects 10 days’ worth of original independent films of varying genres from the United States and around the world. Consult the schedule to see what's screening when and read more about the films. From Annabelle & Bear, the yarn of a rebellious man thrown into fatherhood, to Another Earth, a sci-fi love story centered around the discovery of a doppelganger home planet, festival-goers are sure to find a talkie that piques their interests. A film festival is a veritable candy store for film buffs, a colorful backdrop for a first date, and a rare opportunity to don a pair of large sunglasses and convince everyone in the room that you wrote I Heart Huckabees.